The spring-time light at the end of the tunnel is fast approaching and whether you’ve been hibernating all isolation, pulled back on your exercise intensity or just want to get started, transitioning back into the gym will put a strain on your body. The Body Factory gym in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire has a few handy tips on how to ease back into a regular training routine without burning out.
Start Slow and Build Up
The biggest mistake many of us can make when starting back with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is doing too much too soon. Start slow and ease back into exercise to build up your stamina and prevent injury. If you have been doing minimal exercise recently, we suggest starting back at the gym for two to three days a week for the first month and gradually increasing to up to 5 days. Lower intensity exercise such as light running is a one way to ease your body back into physical activity and a good option on those ‘rest days’ to keep active without putting your body under too much stress.
Recovery is a big part of keeping active over the long-term and important for getting the most out of your next session. There’s no denying that working out is hard work – it uses a lot of energy and can often leave us feeling sluggish. When starting back with high intensity exercise it is likely you will feel fatigued to start. We suggest you listen to your body first and foremost. It is OK to take a rest day! ‘Rest days’ allow the body to repair itself after all of the hard work you have put it through in the gym.
Stretching is one of the most underrated components of getting back into a fitness routine. We encourage dynamic stretches both before and after your class or workout session. This will prevent your muscles becoming tight, get the blood flowing through your body and help prevent any injuries. Lower body stretching especially is critical for your movement and mobility.
Fuel Your Sessions
How you fuel your body pre and post-workout will have a huge impact on how well you both perform and recover.
Before your training session you want to make sure your muscles are full of energy and ready to go. Having a carbohydrate-rich snack one to two hours beforehand is a great way to do this. Before your next workout try having a piece of fruit, muesli bar or a slice of wholemeal toast with some avocado or peanut butter.
“After your workout is when you want to have a hit of protein for optimal recovery” says The Body Factory’s Nutritionist Maddi Parsons. Having protein within the first hour after exercise is ideal to replenish your muscles and significantly reduce muscle soreness. A protein shake, some high-protein Greek Yoghurt or a smoothie made with cow’s milk are easy on-the-go post-workout food solutions.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are entirely an opinion by The Body Factory or representative thereof and do not take into account your individual health, circumstances or needs. For personal guidance, you should contact us or other qualified fitness or health professional.